Shephard Summers

AN EMBER IN THE ASHES

AnEmberintheAshes

 

 

AN EMBER IN THE ASHES
by Sabaa Tahir
Razorbill (Penguin/RandomHouse), 2015

Alternating chapters and intertwining paths form the points of view from LAIA (a young commoner girl who becomes the slave of a warrioress/commandant), and the commandant’s son ELIAS (an elite warrior) whose future puts him in a contest to become something he never wanted to be. Their paths collide, and their compassion and kindness get both of them in trouble. The world is dour but rich, and has similarities to ancient Rome, but with light touches of magic and fantasy, which come in the form of all-knowing “seers” called Augers, and some minor appearances by demons (jinns, effrits, ghouls).

I found ELIAS’s inner struggle and conflict the most compelling part of the story, as he resisted his destiny and longed for a freedom that couldn’t be his. The theme that ties both ELIAS and LAIA together is learning that love and infatuation are not the same thing, with surprising choices by both of them. Open-ended for a sequel.

 

~Shephard

 

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